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House panel demands answers from gun makers on marketing of assault weapons

Erik Wasson, Bloomberg News on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON — The House Oversight Committee is demanding information about the marketing of assault weapons from leading gun manufacturers, including those that made the weapons used in the recent massacres in Texas and New York.

Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, sent the inquiry in letters to Bushmaster Firearms Industries, Daniel Defense, Sig Sauer Inc., Smith & Wesson Brands, and Sturm, Ruger & Co.

“I am deeply concerned that gun manufacturers continue to profit from the sale of weapons of war, including the AR-15- style assault rifle,” Maloney wrote in the letters, which were released Friday. “Despite decades of rising gun deaths and mass murders using assault rifles, your company has continued to market assault weapons to civilians, reaping a profit from the deaths of innocent Americans.”

The letters note that the killer in this week’s elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, used a Daniel Defense AR-15-style rifle and the gunman in the racist shootings at Buffalo, New York, grocery store earlier this month used a Bushmaster XM-15.

The committee is seeking data from the companies by June 2 on the annual sales, profits, advertising and marketing budgets for assault-style weapons. By June 6, companies are asked to provide internal documents related to the role of the weapons in mass shootings. The committee will hold a hearing on June 8 featuring the information.

 

“The Committee respects the rights of law-abiding Americans under the Second Amendment, but that does not excuse irresponsible corporate conduct that fuels deadly gun violence and endangers our children,” the letter states.

The Oversight Committee investigation comes as Congress attempts to respond to the spate of deadly shootings this month. Bipartisan Senate talks are underway on some compromise measures, including encouraging states to adopt so-called red flag laws that would provide a means for a court to take firearms from an individual deemed to be dangerous or prevent such a person from purchasing guns. The House plans to vote on a red flag proposal when it returns from recess at the start of June, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has announced.

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